April 9, 1915 (12th Parliament, 5th Session)


William Manley German



I may not have the superabundant ability of the hon. member for Calgary, but I think I understand this Bill and I feel very confident I understand the effect it will have. When the vote is polled the candidates or their representatives can be present and see the vote counted. When the returning officer opens the envelopes to count the votes, he sees the name of some man. What does he do? He must look over the voters' list to see whether or not that man is on the list and entitled to vote

in that district. He does not find his name on the voters' list; his name need not be on the list if he swears he is a resident. How do you know whether he is a resident there or not? There is where the great difficulty and uncertainty will come, and that is the very point that will create all the dissatisfaction in the event of the soldiers' vote changing the result of the poll in that particular locality.
That is my objection to this Bill. Of course, if an election were held on the present voters' list the difficulty would be overcome to some extent. I shall be very sorry if the Government do have an election this year-and it looks as if that is what they intend-but it will certainly overcome part of the difficulty. But, if the election is not held this year, the name of every soldier on the voters' list now for any particular district will be struck off, unless there is a clause in the Bill providing that their residence shall be assumed on account of their being away as soldiers.

Full View